Biodiversity is a major concern today, with species vanishing at a high rate. Nations have launched efforts to preserve species by designating preserves or wilderness areas. Investments of money and resources are needed to establish and maintain such preserves. How does a nation or organization decide how to invest its funds and resources in order to maximize the goals of species preservation? This leads to interesting models and algorithms for optimization of resources, as Hugh Possingham pointed out in his invited presentation at the SIAM Annual Meeting in San Diego in July 2013 titled “Mathematical Problems in Conservation.” An audio version of the talk is available.
This conference featured Mathematics of Planet Earth as a major theme, as many of the abstracts of invited talks will show.